The Mystery Inside the Enigma

I just got back from watching The Imitation Game, a movie about Alan Turing and the other cryptanalysts who broke the Enigma code during World War II. It was touching to see the (admittedly dramatized) personal side of Turing’s story, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s acting was superb. But more than anything I find the Enigma machine and its role in the war intriguing.

For those of you who also enjoy the slightly more technical side, here’s an explanation of how the Enigma machine created nearly 159,000,000,000,000,000,000 permutations and gained the reputation of being an unbreakable cipher:

“We have to love each other. You hear me? It’s up to us.”


I’m experiencing that disappointing combination of feeling horrified and yet not at all surprised. :/

Originally posted on King of States!:

My friend-who-I don’t-keep-in-touch-with-as-much-as-I-should Charmaine Chua posted this story on Facebook earlier today. I read it, threw up in my mouth a little, read it again, and threw up a little more.

I asked her if I could share it. At the risk of causing you to throw up in your mouth as well, here it is.

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New York City Ballet, online and in theaters

For all you fellow bunheads, the second season of city.ballet is online! And if that doesn’t give you enough of a glimpse into the New York City Ballet, check out the trailer for Ballet 422:

The documentary follows the process as Justin Peck creates the company’s 422nd new ballet. Now you just have to wait for it to come out — it’s scheduled to be released on February 6, 2015.

This is Not Feminism

Did you see the recent meme with celebrities wearing a t-shirt that says, “This is what a feminist looks like“? (You know, the latest excuse for all the Benedict Cumberbatch photos in your Facebook feed.) Well, there are allegations that it wasn’t the most feminist move:

They are the T-shirts designed to make a political statement about women’s rights – but the female workers making them are paid just 62p an hour in an Indian Ocean ‘sweatshop’.

Between shifts women making garments emblazoned with the slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ sleep in spartan dormitories, 16 to a room.

Read the full article

The organization behind the campaign, the Fawcett Society, went ahead with it even after discovering the t-shirts were made in Mauritius (instead of in the UK as they’d expected). Not only that, despite saying they’re concerned about potential sweatshop labor, they seem willing to sit back and wait for the journalist involved to produce more evidence instead of pro-actively investigating the claims. What a shame.